Plant That Causes 3rd Degree Burns, Blindness Found in Virginia
Plant That Causes 3rd Degree Burns, Blindness Found in Virginia
A Horrifying Toxic Plant Causing Third-Degree Burns and Blindness May Start Popping Up Near Cleveland
22 June, 2018, 21:38
It can grow up to 14 feet tall, with huge leaves and white flowers that cluster into an umbrella shape.
The latest sighting of this GIANT HOGWEED found in Clarke County, Virginia.
The plant's watery sap contains photosensitizing agents.
Property owner Robert Emma says officials have told him they will come the his property Thursday to remove the plants, then embark on a three to five year monitoring program to be sure any latent seeds do not germinate in the future. If the sap gets in your eyes, you could go blind.
"Remember that giant hogweed is very similar to the widespread species cow parsnip", which is native to Virginia, the Massey Herbarium said on Facebook. But according to Sara Chodosh of Popular Science, the plant has never before been seen in Virginia, and rarely that far south.
Giant hogweed's greatest danger is the effect its sap has on humans.
Well, giant hogweed (despite having an ugly name) is actually kind of pretty. Also, be aware that a toxic reaction can start as soon as 15 minutes after having contact with the plant.
Compressed soaked in an aluminum acetate mixture that is available at pharmacy provide relief form skin irritation.
The plant has been spotted in NY but also, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and parts of the Pacific Northwest. Caitlin O'Kane of CBS News reports that birds and waterways can also transport the seeds to new locations. The hazardous plant lives 3 to 5 years and is especially hardy, meaning it can grow just about anywhere and is especially hard to remove. If you must touch giant hogweed, wear disposable rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and trousers. It is native to the Caucasus Mountain region between the Black and Caspian Seas and grows along streams and rivers, and in fields, forests, yards and along roadsides.
Horticulturists looking for the next ornamental curiosity brought the plant to England in 1817, where it escaped the Royal Botanic Gardens and flourished in the wild. It can grow to as high as 20 feet.
Even so, it might take several years to eradicate a stand of Hogweed by mowing.
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